The Number 2
I’m in our car with my little, oestrogen infused family, hurtling towards Zsuzsa’s parent’s house, which is nestled in a little village near Eger. I’m smiling at myself in the mirror. Out of the corner of my beady eyes I notice Zsuzsa watching me. She looks perplexed.
“What are you doing?” she asks.
“Practicing my smile.” I reply. “I’m thinking about developing a new one.”
“Well I’m just not sure it’s a perfect smile for the camera. I think I can do better.”
I continue to work on my new smile.
“Maybe I should get my teeth whitened.” I add.
“You don’t need your teeth whitened honey”
“Um, I think you’re forgetting that I’m a TV presenter now. I don’t want them looking all murky on screen.”
Zsuzsa sighs. “You’re not a TV presenter.”
I decide to ignore this cruel comment as I have work to do. I have a new smile to craft.
My tooth related conundrum is due to the fact that I’ve recently signed a contract with The Dad Network to be a vlogger for them. This means that I’ll be making videos for baby related products as well as creating videos for Warner Bros who The Dad Network are in partnership with. Earlier in the week I received my first brief. Create a 2-3 minute video with the title “How to Change a Nappy”.
I’ve spent the last few days filming and crafting my magnum opus. It's called 'The Number 2' and it's my ‘Citizen Kane’ of instructional YouTube clips. My ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ of shitty nappy films. It's 3 minutes long and it's unquestonably a nappy changing video of epic scale. It has drama, twists and humour, and undoubted chemistry between the two movie leads, Gareth Michael Hutchins and Mila Juno Hutchins. The surprise cameo from Zsuzsa Ferencz is also a high point, and hotly tipped to take home the Oscar for best cameo in an instructional YouTube clip for Dads. Feeling very much like Martin Scorsese, I send my masterpiece off to The Dad Network for review.
A few days later and I get a reply. It’s great news!
“So Warner Bros LOVE you and want you to do the official How to videos! Warners showed it to an 18-25 year old audience who thought it was excellent!” the email reads.
“They love it honey!” I bellow to Zsuzsa who is no doubt somewhere in the flat, tit out with a baby attached to her nipple.
“Hooray!” comes a distant reply.
I then sit down to watch the Warner Bros edit that they’ve also sent to me. Hmmm. That’s weird. What’s this music? Uh…they appear to have omitted my “WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME!” speech. The fools! That was a really powerful bit with real gravitas! I carry on watching. What!? Where’s my joke about tupperware parties! That joke was comedy gold! I shrug off the tupperware blow and continue to watch the edit. Whoah! Whoah! Whoah! My Rocky speech! Where’s my Rocky speech!? You can’t have a video on how to change a baby’s nappy without a Rocky Balboa speech!
The video ends. I sit there, motionless. Zsuzsa appears.
“What’s wrong honey?” she asks.
“My film. That’s not my original vision.” I say.
“Don’t worry honey. It’s still great and at least you’re getting paid. You’re a professional film maker now!”
I consider her words and decide that she’s probably right. This is probably a common occurrence for filmmakers. I’m just another director battling a film studio. People will just have to wait for the blu-ray release of my director's cut edition of ‘How to Change a Nappy’ to see my original vision.
I pull myself together, go online and order some tooth whitening gel.